You can't turn on the TV nowadays without seeing some actor, politician, or TV host project his most inner "sincere face" to say, "We're all in this together."
Horse pocky. We're not "all in this together" — not even remotely.
When they're sipping mimosas around the pool and living on royalties derived from their latest film, they're not "in this together" with that single mom living from paycheck-to-paycheck and who's suddenly on the street without a job.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who recently bragged about her stash of $13-a-pint ice cream ensconced in her $24,000 freezer isn't "in this together" with that small business owner who's told his shop is "non-essential" and is left scraping together enough to feed his family.
And a network host reporting from his living room isn't "in this together" with the millions of workers employed by so-called "non-essential" restaurants, salons, gyms and stores that comprise America's shopping centers and malls.
That fact was driven home repeatedly across the country, but especially by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who summoned her inner Stalin to lock her state down, ostensibly to flatten the curve of coronavirus infections.
Her scorched-earth policy has resulted in at least one lawsuit, filed by U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell, a Republican from her state who alleges that her actions violate both separation of powers and his personal constitutional rights.
"I think we need to clarify the extent of what an emergency is and the extent of those powers and re-enforce that people have constitutional rights," Mitchell told The Detroit News.
And several Michigan small business owners have also entered the national news cycle by defying the governor.
Owosso barber Karl Manke, 77, complied with Whitmer's initial shelter-on-place order that was supposed to have ended in mid-April, but was most recently extended through May 28. On May 4 he reopened in violation of the order.
"I had no income," he said. "There was nothing coming in."
Fearing that Whitmer might call in state police or national guardsmen to enforce her order, armed members of the Michigan Home Guard appeared in front of Manke's shop to prevent his arrest.
But she may have had the last word. Manke's license was suspended late last week.
In Holland, Michigan, Sarah Huff, owner of Ardor+Grit Salon and Lounge, reopened her business Friday — on the 52nd day of the governor's order. She said if she didn't reopen, she'd have to close her business for good.
"Doing something like this doesn't come without any fear or consequences," she said. "I believe in what I am doing and I'm also trying to play this smart, too."
Manke and Huff may have prompted a New Jersey gym owner to reopen his own business Monday, in defiance of Gov. Phil Murphy's orders.
"We got to the point where I've watched many businesses around me collapse, I've watched people lose their jobs and there's no progress moving forward," said Ian Smith, co-owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr.
More than a denial of the suffering that extended stay-at-home orders create, Whitmer's (and Murphy's) actions suggest they lack the understanding of what it is to be an American. The United States is — above all else — is a nation of risk-takers.
When the Founders affixed their signatures on the Declaration of Independence, they said "We Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes And Our Sacred Honor," and they meant it.
They each knew that if the revolution failed, their property would be seized, their families would be left destitute and the signers would be hanged as traitors to the British crown.
The war was fought from 1775 to 1783. Within that same period — from 1775 to 1782 — the colonies were going through the North American smallpox epidemic. But no one suggested "flattening the curve" before taking on the British.
Manke, Huff and Smith each took a risk when they invested their life savings to initially open their businesses. And they're risking it all again by reopening — something neither Whitmer nor Murphy would know anything about.
House Democrats have proposed a $2,000 a month basic income for most Americans affected by the outbreak — but that's not who we are, not according to Mitchell, the congressman that's suing Whitmer.
"We already have a universal basic income," he told The Hill. "It's called work."
And until people like Pelosi, Whitmer and Murphy have actual "skin in the game," they'll never understand who we are as Americans and never be "in this together."
We may all be on the same ocean, but we're on vastly different boats weathering vastly different storms. While many Americans are furiously bailing out leaky watercraft to remain afloat, they're being served cocktails on the lido deck of a luxury liner.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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